atomic_fungus (atomic_fungus) wrote,
atomic_fungus
atomic_fungus

#5590: Okay, now I'm just going to tear my hair out, because this doesn't make any f--

--uckin' sense at all.

Ran errands--went to the store, then hit the vet to settle up with them and pick up the cremains and cat carrier. We're donating the remainder of the syringes, insulin, and the glucose meter to the clinic.

Sat down with the bike in the garage and tried to make sense of things. I forgot an important step, something I had told myself to do before installing the spare stator--but looking at it now, even if I had, it probably would have given the same result.

So I took the bullet connectors I bought the other day and made myself a little test ring, three wires each with male bullet connectors on one end and a ring terminal on the other. Tied 'em together with a zip tie. Now I can make a good solid connection to female bullet connectors and everything.

Installed spare stator in housing, installed housing on bike, and the resistance still checked out. I got everything buttoned up with minimal difficulty. Had to go searching for the keys--they were still in the trunk lock, where I'd left them--and then got ready to crank her over.

Voltage before cranking: 12.xx volts. Voltage while running, regardless of RPM: 12.xx volts.

Me: *sigh*

This was about the time I remembered that I'd wanted to make sure the stator wasn't shorted to ground, so I sighed again, then pulled the wires back out and checked the coil resistance to ground using my nifty jumper set.

Meter: 0.00 Ω

Me: What???

...so I set pulled the generator cover off again, intending to do the check I'd forgotten to do--put one end of the probe on the connector and the other on the coil's core--and see if I could have prevented all this horseshit. Of course I missed pulling one screw so I had a craptastic time getting the cover off; once I noticed my error I pulled the cover off. Somewhere after the time I discovered that the resistance to ground was zero, the positive probe tip came right off the wire, so I had to spend some time soldering alligator clips to the probe wires in place of the probe tips. Fuck it, that's easier anyway, because you can clip them on. I also had to replace one of the bullet connectors, because it pulled off when I tried disconnecting the jumper.

With that all done, I brought the generator cover over to the workbench and began preparing to remove the stator; and what did my eyes behold?

THERE'S NO FUCKING INSULATION ON THE FUCKING WIRES

That would explain why I got the correct near-zero readings from all three coils in the thing. That would also explain, rather nicely, why the fucking thing is shorted to ground. What is not explainable is WHY THE FUCKING HELL I DIDN'T NOTICE THIS BEFORE I INSTALLED IT IN THE MOTORCYCLE.

I took it out, looked it over in the sunlight, then threw it onto the driveway hard enough to make it bounce. Oh, I know it's not the part's fault, but that's probably why that was enough to placate my anger.

So, for a laugh, I took the old stator and hooked it up to my set of jumper wires, and found that it is perfectly within specification: each time I changed terminals, the DMM settled down to 1.9 Ω just like it should. (It started higher, 2.5 or so, but rapidly went to 1.9. I'd expect that from a coil; if you don't understand why, Googe "inductor".)

No short to ground; all three wires show "open" when I check that. This means:

1) The stator is not the problem; it's nominal.
2) The rectifier/regulator is not the problem. Continuity checks out and there's no reason two regulators would fail exactly the same way.

It leaves me with two alternatives, neither of which is really much good: either the battery is bad, or the flywheel has lost its magnetism, as I surmised in an earlier post.

I believe that I have a spare flywheel, in the spare engine. I can probably take the battery somewhere to get it checked, but I think the real problem here is that the bike's charging system simply isn't making the right number of volts, and with everything else checking out it has to be a case where the flywheel magnets simply aren't as strong as they should be. But the only way to check that is to swap it, and the flywheel in the spare engine may not be any better.

So, I pulled the battery and I'll let it charge overnight and see if there's any difference tomorrow. Best I can do.

* * *

My wife got home from work and upon kissing me said, "Your breath stinks. It smells like you've been eating paste all day."

To my amazement I realized that the last thing I ate (other than a handful of trail mix) was a three-slice PBJ like I almost always have for breakfast; that was at 11:30 AM and it's now just after 9 PM.

What, me, upset? Naah.
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